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-edged sword. the agricultural benefits of those periodic floods are offset by damage to homes and cities, and, in some cases, to the people who inhabit them. the edges of flood plains are marked by levees- ridges of sediment left atop river banks by floods. once formed, levees serve as natural barriers confining rivers during periods of ordinary flow. they may even protect low-lying areas from flooding if the level of a river isn't too high. for this reason, artificial levees designed to contain a river during flood stages are often built. but artificial levees can themselves create problems. by confining the river to a narrow channel, levees accelerate the build-up of sediment, raising the river bed higher and higher. and levees can provide a false sense of security. if a river overtops its levees to flood the surrounding land, the levees can actually prolong flooding by preventing water from draining back into the river. most people don't appreciate the fact that the flood plain is a part of the stream itself. the flood plain is where rivers store discharge during periods of high flows and
the ground-water system. so, there's kind of a sustainable quantity. the primary issue that cities, particularly in the southwest, are having to look at is the idea of sustainability. in other words, how much water does it take to sustain a certain lifestyle, a certain quality of life? narrator: maddock hopes to use his models to educate people about the effects of falling water tables and to help deter overpopulation of these areas in the future. dr. maddock: the research that we're doing on surface-water/ground-water systems is tied in to the management of a regional water supply, which, in turn, is connected to a state or country water supply, which, in turn, is connected into international issues involving water supply, so that the things that we study in our area ultimately lead to producing water-management capabilities that are used in other places throughout the world. narrator: while maddock's research is based in the semi-arid southwest, professor wendy graham's research lies across the country in an area where the quantity of water isn't an issue with 50 inches, or 1 1/4
in the city. two days out of jail, and you're back again? what's your story this time? >> both: i don't know nothing. >> thirty days. >> going to be good. >> game theory forces us to think about choices, strategies, and payoffs. not in a way that reduces us to easily predictable individuals caught in a grid, but in relation to the activity of others. in the iterated prisoner's dilemma, it would be great if everybody played a pure cooperate strategy, since this is what would give the greatest payoff. but the temptation to cheat, to buck the system, is there. maybe that's the point, that math goes beyond our instincts. our instincts are often wrong, and mathematics, carefully considered, can be a guide beyond the gut. with mathematics, we can show that a common behavior that we might consider foolish can in fact make considerable sense. sometimes these "odd" strategies are informally encoded in cultural norms, like the golden rule. at its heart, that's perhaps really what game theory is about: the evolution of these rules and norms or institutions that make the best of the difficult situation
Search Results 0 to 2 of about 3